Over the past several years we have talked with hundreds and hundreds of construction professionals about surface protection. Many of these professionals recognize the need for surface protection during construction but it is such a small part of the overall project cost that it gets ignored or, in some cases, pulled from the budget as change orders start to squeeze the final budget. However, when surface protection is left out of a project there are a number of important areas that can be affected: schedules can be pushed back as damaged finishes are replaced or repaired and budgets can be affected because there is a real cost to the replace or repair finished surfaces damaged during construction. In addition, there is a “hassle-factor” as areas of the project already completed must re-worked. And finally, the carefully crafted image of a construction firm can be marred as stakeholders question a firm’s commitment to quality standards.
Here we want to look at just one of the factors affected: the budget. We were approached by Company A concerning a major project they were building. The team had recently completed a very similar project and was concerned with one specific problem – door protection. In the recently completed project they chose not to protect the doors and jambs during construction. When they looked at the overall project after completion they discovered that they had spent $500,000 to repair and replace damaged doors and frames. They asked if we could help them eliminate this unbudgeted expense on the new project.
We suggested two products that could help them – The Protector Series Door Shield® and jamb protectors. The cost to properly protect the large quantity of doors in the project was about $60,000.00 on a project with an overall budget in excess of $500 million. Using Door Shields and jamb protectors to protect doors from damage during construction had a specific identifiable cost which eliminated what our client expected to be an unbudgeted expense of $500,000, a savings of $440,000 when compared to the previous, comparable project.
Like many contractors, our client generates profit equal to about 1.5% of the total budget. That $440,000 savings resulting from their decision to protect their doors during construction was the same as if they had been awarded a contract to build a new $30 million project. Surface protection, many times an afterthought in construction, can have a major impact on profitability. The cost to protect doors, jambs, finished floor surfaces and the like is really low-cost insurance that can improve overall bottom line profit.
*Image courtesy of Charles Rondeau